College Football Movers & Shakers: Week 5

UCLA's dominant performance on the road at Arizona State impressed bookmakers.

UCLA’s dominant performance on the road at Arizona State impressed bookmakers.

Online sportsbook Bovada released its latest round of college football futures on Tuesday, serving up an insight into how Las Vegas currently sees the footballing landscape.

Alabama (4-0, 1-0 SEC) remains at the top of the pile with 6/1 odds of winning a national championship. Florida State (4-0, 2-0 ACC) and Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) are hot on the heels of the Crimson Tide, with 15/2 odds. Meanwhile,  Auburn (4-0, 1-0 SEC) and Oregon (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) continue to round out the top five with 8/1 odds.

Elsewhere there’s been plenty of movement for bettors to keep their eye on. Here’s a look at three teams moving in the right direction, and three heading the wrong way.

Moving On Up

UCLA

UCLA (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) made a huge statement on the road Thursday night, handing then-No. 15 Arizona State a lopsided 62-27 defeat in the desert.

The pummeling was enough to see odds of the Bruins winning a national title shorten from 18/1 to 12/1 in one fell swoop.

Right now, the Bruins are looking to prove themselves the class of the Pac-12 South, and with Stanford and Southern California already having registered losses, it’s hard to argue against Jim Mora’s side. The Bruins meet the Cardinal and Trojans in their final two games of the regular season.

Current Odds: 12/1

Michigan State

Michigan State (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten) took care of business this weekend, making short work of Wyoming to close out the non-conference portion of its schedule.

The Spartans also saw their odds fall from 20/1 to 14/1, movement that wasn’t entirely based around the victory over the Cowboys. While the one-sided final score certainly helped impress bookmakers, the fact that the Big Ten is starting to look a little better, and the fact that the SEC is about to start beating up on itself, are enough to make Mark Dantonio’s side look a little rosier around the edges.

Next Saturday’s game against undefeated Nebraska will give the Spartans a chance to really impress.

Current Odds: 14/1

Oklahoma State

Make no bones about it, Oklahoma State (3-1, 1-0 Big 12) is still a massive underdog but the Cowboys saw their odds drop from 300/1 to 100/1 after this weekend’s action propelled the side into the AP Top 25.

The Cowboys – who lost a close game to Florida State to open the season – still face the crux of their Big 12 schedule, a schedule that is as tough as nails, but right now Mike Gundy’s team is happy to be rolling on with some momentum.

Current Odds: 100/1

The Downward Spiral

Wisconsin / Nebraska

Since losing a close game to Louisiana State to open the season, Wisconsin (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten) has done nothing but win. Yet this week the Badgers saw their odds stretch from 40/1 to 50/1.

Nebraska (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) also saw its odds stretch by those same figures, despite dismantling Illinois in their conference opener.

The problem for both sides appears to be the improvement of Michigan State, at least in the eyes of the bookmakers. With the Spartans on the rise, both the Badgers and Cornhuskers will need to prove their worth heading forward.

Nebraska will get the first crack, heading to East Lansing, Mich., this weekend. The Badgers meanwhile have a more than manageable schedule, with a Nov. 15 matchup against the ‘Huskers looking like the only true test. The winner is likely going to win the Big Ten West, which puts them a step closer to a title.

Current Odds: 50/1

South Carolina

A Jekyll and Hyde-like season has seen South Carolina (3-2, 2-2 SEC) all but fall out of contention. In fact, the bookmakers have waved goodbye to the Gamecocks.

Saturday’s loss to Missouri, a second home loss of the season, means that the drive to a national championship is one that is likely to succeed. Two losses will be tough to overcome when it comes to winning the division and moving on to the SEC championship game.

Steve Spurrier’s side can still do exactly that, but right now it looks like it’ll take nothing short of a conference championship to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff. That’s bad news for a Gamecocks side that looks like it would be eaten alive by the SEC West.

Current Odds: OFF

Penn State

The joy and jubilation of being reinstated into postseason play continues to ring around State College, but the truth of the matter is that Penn State (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) is playing to book a spot in a bowl game and not the College Football Playoff.

An emphatic loss at home to Northwestern on Saturday likely has shown the team for what it is; a mid-level Big Ten performer with plenty of work to do. The bookmakers waved goodbye to James Franklin’s side following the loss.

Current Odds: OFF

Check out the latest college football futures odds

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